London’s Best Roof Gardens

June 24, 2014 9:00 am

It’s summer in London and what better way to escape the heat, or bask in it, however you prefer, than to explore the rooftops of the capital. Beat the crowds by taking your tour of London up a level and enjoy the private oases high above the streets. Not only does it provide an escape from the bustle below, but you can enjoy verdant views over the city and stretching panoramas as far as the eye can see.

We’ve listed our favourite rooftop experiences for you to try while you’re in London; from green gardens to sophisticated bars – there’s something for everyone.

The Roof Gardens, Kensington

Located one hundred feet above Kensington High Street are the gorgeous secluded Roof Gardens; a magical world filled with trickling streams, delicate flowers, giant oaks and exotic pink flamingos. Yes, really. Covering approximately 1.5 acres, this green oasis in the city is split into three themes – Tudor, Spanish and English woodland. It’s the perfect roof garden and you’ll not find one like it. If you’re feeling peckish, forget the picnic, you have to do it properly in Kensington. Try out the Babylon restaurant on the 7th floor for some gourmet grub instead.

Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, Southbank

One of the Southbank’s summer specials, high above the hustle and bustle of one of London’s most touristy areas, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden offers those on the riverside a green garden to enjoy. Up an industrial concrete yellow staircase, you’re invited to this garden party on wooden decking and pretty iron tables and chairs complete with a pop up bar – and plenty of Pimms on tap. It’s the perfect summery spot to enjoy a drink before you revel in the entertainment provided by the BFI Cinema, National Theatre and Southbank Centre, located just below.

Vista Bar, Trafalgar Square

If you’re looking for a room with a view, you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere better than Trafalgar Square’s Vista Bar, overlooking the iconic square, National Gallery and the Thames. With clean lines, dark wood decking and polished garden furniture, this bar is both sophisticated and stylish – perfect for a special occasion. Sit amongst the perfectly manicured bushes, sipping a glass of bubbly, or if you stay for a bite to eat they’ve got a fresh BBQ with a range of tasty burgers to try. Another alternative for stunning views is the Radio Rooftop Bar, further down on the Strand. Another perfectly polished experience, expect the chic-est of chic and perhaps the odd celebrity sighting, too.

Sushisamba, Heron Tower

Located in London’s East End banking district the Heron Tower is a must for anyone who wants a break from sightseeing to explore a bit of London rarely ventured by visitors to the city. Up on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower (which itself is one of the tallest buildings in London) you can get a unique perspective of the city from this easterly vantage point. What makes it so special is the weeping willow tree in the middle of the round bar and the dim red lights which give the atmosphere a modern and romantic feel; perfect for making a good impression. Have a cocktail as the sun goes down, overlooking St Paul’s and the Gerkin, and you’ll see a magical park of London you can’t find in the guidebooks.

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